‘08 football featured ugly shoes, famous fathers

Published 7:53 pm Saturday, November 22, 2008

On this, the day of our boys high school basketball preview, what could be a more fitting column topic than a review of the high school football season?

With losses by Billingsley and Isabella in the second round of the playoffs a little more than one week ago, all our local teams were eliminated. But maybe this list of the best of the season will help make a few memories:

Best band—the cleverly dubbed “Marbena” band. The bands from, you guessed it, Marbury and Verbena performed at the same time when the two rivals played in the final week of the regular season. The guys and girls sounded great and, because it was Halloween, they looked interesting, also.

Best shoes—tie between Maplesville’s Patrick Alteena and Isabella’s Matt Snell, two kickers. These guys wore some hideous orangish yellow shoes on their kicking feet. I don’t know if the shade looked worse with Maplesville’s red or Isabella’s black and gold, but both did a nice job kicking the ball so no one can complain.

Best brothers—Wesley and Pierre Warren at Marbury. These two were electric as quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, return men and on defense. A senior and junior, respectively, the Warrens could almost win a game by themselves.

Best genes—American Christian Academy. It’s not a local team, but the Patriots defeated three of them this year in Isabella, Maplesville and Thorsby. ACA had Brandon Gottfried, son of Alabama basketball coach Mark Gottfried; Steadman Shealy, son of the former Crimson Tide quarterback of the same name; and Kyle Smelley, brother of South Carolina quarterback Chris Smelly and Alabama tight end Brad Smelley.

Best officiating—the crew that worked the Hale County-Isabella game. Following a measurement that clearly showed a ball carrier picked up a first down, the referee got a good look at the ball then proceeded to show each sideline with his hands how far the first down had been made. Picture the tactic usually used to show how far a team lacks to pick up a first—used in the opposite situation.

Best game—Jemison at Chilton County High. After coming out of the game temporarily with an injury, Jemison quarterback Eric Argo found Merrell Morrow, who weaved through the defense for 33 yards and the game-winning touchdown with less than one minute to play. It was an especially sweet result for Argo, Morrow and the rest of the Jemison seniors that broke a 4-year losing steak to CCHS.